tv The Colbert Report Comedy Central September 23, 2013 9:30am-10:06am PDT
>> stephen: welcome to the show, everybody! good to have you with us! folks, thank you, thank you so much. (audience chanting "stephen") >> stephen: ladies and gentlemen thank you so much! folks, folks, as you know, you watch the program night to night i pride myself on my decisiveness. if i ever lost my ability to instantly know my next course of action, i don't know what i would do. (laughter) but even i have been all over the map on this syria issue. on the one hand, holding bashar al-assad responsible for war crimes against his own citizens was kind of, you know, "been there; bombed that." (laughter) but on the other hand, not
bombing does not involve bombing. (laughter) and the truth is, nobody knows what to do in syria. we've heard from our allies, we've heard from our enemies, we've heard from our pundits and our politicians. but there's one important voice that has remained conspicuously silent: hallucinating sheep herders. until now, because the bible has finally weighed in. according to the vancouver "sun biblical literalists see the looming destruction of damascus as the sign of the return of jesus christ to earth as precursor of the cosmic apocalypse. and folks -- (cheers and applause) big end of the world fans here tonight. (laughter) and the signs of the apocalypse are everywhere. after all: i just quoted from a canadian newspaper! (laughter) folks, i am not the only
journalist reporting prophecy as news. so is fox news anchor and 11th plague neil cavuto. >> biblical scholars say it's all there in black-and-white, like this spooky passage from isaiah 17 about syria itself. "behold, damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin." another passage warns of growing unrest in egypt and the rise of a fierce king. >> stephen: good lord! (laughter) everything the bible says is coming to pass! thankfully, i already have two of every animal in my meat ark. (laughter) folks, neil cavuto wasn't done there. as a t.v. journalist, his job to keep digging until he gets to the next commercial. (laughter) so he brought on armageddon enthusiast joel rosenberg. >> we have seven million syrians already on the run, two million have left the country, five
million are internally displaced that's the jeremiah 49 prophecy that says people will flee but there will still be people in damascus when the prophecy happens. the bottom line is we don't know whether these two prophecies-- isaiah 17 and jeremiah 49 will happen in our lifetime or soon but they could because they haven't happened yet. >> stephen: true. (laughter) everything that hasn't happened yet could happen! (laughter) i mean, the seas turning red with blood. lives -- (applause) lions laying down with lambs. the "friends" movie. all possible! (laughter) and the bible isn't the only source that backs up rosenberg's logic. it is corroborated by a completely different book "damascus countdown" by joel rosenberg. i mean, what are the odds? (laughter) and here is his proof that the syrian conflict may bring about the end of the world.
>> in the novel "damascus countdown" in which i imagine a scenario that those prophecies come true in our lifetime. >> stephen: yes, he imagines a scenario. (laughter) which qualifies him to be interviewed by an imaginary newsman. (laughter) now, folks -- (cheers and applause) i believe this means that if we want to see how the world ends all we have to do is flip to the end of his book. okay, here we go. "she wondered what life lay before them, what would come next. but instead of asking questions, she simply laid her head on david's chest. she looked at the engagement ring on her finger and said right out loud "bless the lord oh my soul." (laughter) folks, if i'm interpreting the book of rosenberg correctly -- (laughter) -- the world ends with a wedding! (cheers and applause) magical! folks, don't even bother with
the gift receipt because crate & barrel will not be accepting returns. (laughter) but, folks, you know what? i'm beginning to worry that the apocalypse may not start in syria after all. >> the u.s. and russia say they have an agreement that will avert american air strikes by removing or destroying all chemical weapons in syria. >> i say this proves obama is a secret muslim. he's refusing to bomb someone just to keep jesus from coming back! (laughter) that's kind of petty. so i am praying, praying, this diplomatic solution falls through because, frankly, i do not want to see the day obama finally earns the nobel peace prize he already won. (laughter) but with the deface already hammered out, how could it possibly fall through? >> u.s. secretary of state john kerry said they would seek a united nations resolution with serious consequences for syria if it fails to hand over its chemical weapons. >> the u.s. has said the u.n. resolution doesn't have to
threaten military action. >> stephen: oh. the u.n. is handling it. (laughter) well, that makes it rather u.n.-likely to succeed. (laughter) i mean, for pete's sake -- (cheers and applause) for pete's sake these people still wear head phones like this. (laughter) guys, come on! it's 2013, get some beats for gods sakes. (laughter) i mean, there is no tway u.n. can resolve the crisis in syria! and here to tell me how the u.n. can resolve the crisis in syria is blogger and founder of the dish mr. andrew sullivan. andrew, good to see you again. (cheers and applause) andrew, do you believe when it comes to taking military action against bashar al-assad using chemical weapons are you in favor of doing something or doing nothing? >> doing something that does not mean we get involved in someone
else's civil war. that's what i'm in favor of and that's what we've got. >> stephen: so doing something that is nothing? >> no. >> stephen: like? you want to get the u.n. involved? >> no, i want russia which is the critical member of the security council involved here and china on the security council who have taken responsibility saying we're going to make sure assad controls and eventually destroys his chemical weapons. >> stephen: you trust russia and china more than you trust the united states of america! your word! that's what you just said! (laughter) >> let me tell you --. >> stephen: answer the question. do you trust putin and whoever china putin is -- (laughter) -- do you trust those guys more than barack obama? our commander? chief? >> yes, because the world has seen america go into these places alone. >> stephen: and kick ass and take names. >> and make an all mighty mess in which hundreds of thousands of people die, we lost trillions of dollars.
if you actually want to get it done and not provoke outcry and actually get assad's cooperation then getting russia and china to do our dirty work for us is a great thing. our goal is not to have the biggest ego in the world --. >> stephen: what's the stick? >> the stick is that we threaten military strikes against them. >> stephen: right! and you have to be willing to go through with that! and if they don't comply and if assad does use chemical weapons again obama has a much stronger case to make "look, we tried peace, we tried this process, now it doesn't work, we have a right to stop these weapons." >> stephen: so you believe that if the deal doesn't go through, if it falls apart it's time to turn damascus into the boom-boom? (laughter) >> no, and i'll tell you why. because you can't blow up chemical weapons sites without creating a nightmare, without creating the very thing you're trying to avoid. >> stephen: but it's sending a message. >> you can't send a missile to blow sarin gas halfway across the country.
you have to secure them. >> stephen: you have to send a message. >> we sent it t message, it was received in damascus, they gave up. i thought you would like that! assad surrendered. >> stephen: but you're trying -- here's what i don't get. you want to be a united states citizen, true? >> yes, please. >> stephen: you want to be a united states citizen. okay, all right, you have to understand there's such a thing as american exceptionalism, all right? the rules don't apply to us. >> (laughs) >> stephen: we get to do what we want. everybody should say "hey, that's good because america did it." (laughter) >> why not use the rules to get what we want done without having to ourselves actually having to do it? >> stephen: and use the u.n. resolution? >> the u.n. is a useful institution to cover and to execute great power designs. >> stephen: what great power? what war have they ever preventd? >> well, we may have just prevented this one and i ale tell you why. >> stephen: but we don't know because it didn't happen!
>> we don't know yet. >> stephen: you can't prove a negative. >> what we have preventd is any major war between great powers. >> stephen: because if we wanted to go to war with russia or china they would veto it and then we'd have to stop. (laughter) you're not wrong. that's why we -- we try -- (cheers and applause) >> stephen: how do you become a superpower if it doesn't exercise superpowers? that's like saying "i'm fantastic dancer i just don't want to get up right now." (cheers and applause) i tell you what, i'll just cut it out. go ahead. (laughter) andrewn,van, m7ç4
>> stephen: welcome back, everybody, thanks so much. (cheers and applause) nation, i've got to take moment here and we have not talked about this yet on the show but i want to take a moment and speak about monday's tragic shooting in the washington, d.c. naval yard. our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and the families and i'd like to salute d.c.'s first responders who prevented what could have been an even bigger tragedy. and, folks, after watching wall-to-wall coverage i have to say i've reassessed some of my long-held opinions. while we may never know what motivated the shooter, we know he had a troubled and violent past and evidence of mental illness. so it's time to admit-- all of us-- that some dangerous items
shouldn't fall into the hands of the disturbed. >> how many tragedies should we witness before we finally enact common sense gun violence prevention? >> stephen: what? no, not guns! (laughter) i mean, we didn't do anything about guns after sandy hook! guns? you're adorable! (laughter) but for the last time, guns have nothing to do with gun violence! we all know what the real problem is! this is a military i.d. card. this is how you get on a military base. so how did he get on? again, in my view, he had an authorized card. >> maybe too many people have these cards. (laughter) >> stephen: think about it: hi had access to a military i.d. card. if he didn't have that, we wouldn't be talking about a tragedy at the navy yard, we'd be talking about a tragedy in a less-secure area like a park or a denny's. (laughter) but what's the answer. >> we need to start doing more extensive background checks on contractors. >> why did background checks not
occur? >> there are gaps now in security background checks. >> we're not doing enough background checks. >> yes, how many times do conservatives need to say it? we need more background checks! (laughter) or at least a waiting period for an i.d. like they have at the d.m.v. (laughter) i believe it's three days. at least we all know what drove this madman to go out and get that i.d. card. >> he had an obsession with shooting video games. >> sometimes played violent video games all night long. >> here we go again. report nation vi yard shooter aaron alexis liked to play violent video games. >> this, indeed, is a strong link to mass killings then why aren't we looking at frequency of purchases per person and also how often they're playing? >> yes, new gretchen is right. (laughter) the united states government needs to monitor who is playing video games and how much. maybe a national game registry. i mean, i'm really concerned about this guy named:aaah!"
(cheers and applause) he's the high scorer wherever you look! and please don't tell me from's been no proven link between video games and violence! madden 25 just came out and suddenly there's a rash of football violence on t.v.! (laughter) but, of course, not everyone agrees. take fox's the five eric bolling. >> why all of a sudden video games? it's violent, yeah, it's violent. but so are movies, so is television. who's the jackass to who started pointing finger at video games? >> stephen: good question. who is the jackass who blames gun violence on video games. >> it's a whole host of things. mental health, guns, video games. (cheers and applause) >> stephen: he's right. television is violent. eric bolling just kicked himself in thealls! balls!
>> stephen: welcome back, everybody. our guest tonight has a book called "the traveling sprinkler." it's like "on the road" but for sprinklers. please welcome nicholson. you've written nine novels including and five non-fiction books. your latest is a novel called traveling with sprinklers. would you also throw in the garden weasel $40 value absolutely free? (cheers and applause) >> the traveling sprinkleers the reason i chose it for title of the book is because i wanted to think about the way we we live
-- we live by -- swre a kind of garden of thought, maybe. the things that we're preoccupied by and we arrange a hose around those things and we put the traveling sprinkler on it and we wet it. >> stephen: what is the traveling sprinkler. are we traveling sprinkler or are we the guard sgln we are the traveling sprinkler. >> stephen: and we travel through the garden of our life. >> we do. >> stephen: who sets the hose down? who pays the water bill? (laughter) >> we -- we do it all. we start, we set it up, we watch it happen and then we're done. >> stephen: we do all of it. >> yes. >> stephen: we should get some help. (laughter) can we talk about the garden for a second because i like that -- it's a metaphor. is that a met snore. >> stephen: >> you know better than i. >> stephen: i don't, actually. i've never written fiction. a metaphor is when something is something else. like your beard is all
christmas. (laughter) >> yes, yes. it used to be kind of darker. it was an amber waves of grain kind of thing. >> stephen: your beard used to be america. and the beard was a metaphor for america and now it's a metaphor for christmas! >> it turned white and i thought well, go with it. >> stephen: can i ask you something? how about downtown? is it, um -- (laughter) also white? the lower locker? is it -- (laughter) >> you are intimate! >> stephen: well, your books are very intimate. you have all kinds of names in your books for the twigs and berries down there. you call it the thunder stick, is that what you call it? >> i think that there are --. >> stephen: you do. you call it the thunder stick. >> p you -- i do.
>> stephen: you've called it the malcolm gladwell. >> stephen: >> i've called it the malcolm gladwell. >> stephen: what does malcolm gladwell think of that? >> i don't know. but i thought it was a complement. >> stephen: you named your penis after -- >> not my penis. >> stephen: okay, i apologize. look >> look, the we us in is a bad word for what we have. it's not a good word. there are all these words we have for sexual pieces of ourselves and they're all badly designed. somebody came up with them a long time ago and we have to come up with new words for them. (laughter) >> stephen: let's get back to that garden for a second. (laughter) is a garden -- let's say call the garden for the mind for a second, can we do that? >> yes. >> stephen: you sometimes drill down. you have such an intricate level of plants in your -- in your
garden. firm the mezzanine your character is -- it takes place going up an escalator. it's about a five-minute trip that takes a 200 page book. >> it's a travel book. >> stephen: yes, it's a travel book. it is. it is. but it's almost a schizophrenic level of detail in the things you write. you see patterns all over the place. sometimes where maybe patterns don't exist. have you ever thought of your writing as a cry for help? (laughter) >> i look at it differently. i think you really -- anyone who lives a life and this is about it everyday and kind of ad hoc just ideas about what's happening. and those things are eventually worth putting a book. >> stephen: why not a broad stage of more action, quality kills? (laughter) >> good ideas.
but i think that -- when you -- when you're going along and thinking about what actually happens to human beings the way we -- the people in your life, we're lucky people. bad things don't normally happen to us but what novelists or screen writers do is they think we need an explosion of some kind. and it's stupid, you know? that's just -- (laughter) but what we actual city will do is we read the news and when we read the news we have all sorts of explosions coming in all the time. we have all these horrible things that come in indirectly through news channels. >> stephen: i'm in the news business myself. i'm one of the people bringing you all those terrible stories. >> and i'm enormously grateful. >> stephen: you're welcome. you're welcome. >> it makes me -- it makes me feel -- it makes us feel bad, you know, to --. >> stephen: the world is a scary place. the world is a scary place.